After their daughter Malki was killed in the infamous Sbarro terror attack in Jerusalem, Arnold and Frimet Roth created a foundation in her memory that assists families with severely disabled children.
“What can a man do when his child is a victim of terrorism?” asked veteran journalist Roger Phillips in an interview with Arnold Roth, father of terror victim Malki Roth, on BBC’s “Daybreak with Helen Jones.”
Born in Melbourne, Australia, Malka Chana Roth, or Malki, was just 15 years old on the day she was murdered. On a beautiful summer’s day in August 2001, she and her lifelong friend Michal had stopped to get something to eat at the popular Sbarro’s Pizza shop on Jaffa Street in the heart of Jerusalem.
The restaurant was filled with customers when the girls walked in. Moments later, a young Palestinian-Arab man and woman entered. The woman had a camera and he was carrying a guitar case. They spoke in English, so as not to arouse any suspicion.
Inside the guitar case was a bomb. The resulting explosion killed 15 people and injured approximately 130 others, many severely. Most of the people who died were children, including Malki and Michal.
Not Allowing the Terrorists to Win
After a devastating event such as the death of a child at the hands of a terrorist, it would be easy to let the grief just take over. But for Arnold and Frimet Roth, that would be allowing the terrorists to win. Instead, they channeled their pain into a project that would not only help tens of thousands of people, but also honor the memory of the daughter they had lost.
Malki was a vivacious, talented and musical young woman who was also deeply committed to helping children with disabilities. Therefore, what better way to honor her life than to create a foundation that assists families with disabled children?
Thus Keren Malki was born, based on the idea that home care is the best option for special-needs children.
Keren Malki’s work is channeled into three active programs: the first focuses on providing specialized equipment in the home; the other two focus on home-based therapies. In all three tracks, the goal is to empower families who want to give their seriously disabled children the best possible care at home.
In addition to running Keren Malki, the Roths spend time with their six other children and their grandchildren while still fighting to have the surviving perpetrator of the Sbarro bombing returned to prison.
“We don’t expect to change the world, we are constantly reinforced in our understanding of that,” Arnold Roth said. “But there are things that passionate people outraged by this injustice can do. And that’s what we do.”